|BlackBerry enters App scrap|
Tuesday, 24 August 2010 02:00
The arrival of BlackBerry App World 2.0 means local users can finally download premium apps for their BlackBerry smartphones.
For the less-than-technical BlackBerry users, premium apps (the ones you pay for) have been an enigma. The App World application on BlackBerry devices has, until now, had a very limited selection of free applications.
Unless you were one of the smart guys, using workarounds to get access to non-South African apps, you were stuck with what there was.
As of today, South African BlackBerry users can upgrade to App World 2.0 and gain access to a significantly larger selection of both free and premium mobile applications.
The revised App World interface makes it a lot easier to find applications, with a new, intuitive tab system. Simply swiping left or right will navigate categories. In addition to this, the Top 25 apps selection also has its own categories: New apps, free apps, paid apps, themes and recently updated apps. Most of the premium apps are priced in line with those from the Google Android Marketplace and Apple App Store.
Expect to pay anywhere between 99c (US) and $4.99 for the most popular software packages. Payments can be made using either credit cards or PayPal.
App World 2.0 also has a couple of other new features. The famous bar code feature used by BlackBerry Messenger can now be used by certain applications, too. Let`s say you`re in a shop and see a book or DVD with a QR bar code. Scanning that bar code can automatically open the related application – in this example, adding it to your online shopping cart or giving an information page about that movie.
The application centre can also encrypt credit card details, with the option to add a password for making purchases.
It`ll be interesting to see if this opens up the doors for a number of localised applications. Now that it`s easier to download applications from a centralised service, local developers might sit up and take notice – especially with BlackBerry devices becoming more popular with the younger crowd. Apple`s App Store already has a number of iPhone and iPod applications specific to SA, and some local news services have iPhone App versions of their Web sites.
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